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Jeff Scott Soto: Retribution
Jeff Scott Soto - Retribution CD Album Review

Jeff Scott Soto: Retribution

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
3.5/5.0

As a vocalist, Jeff Scott Soto needs little introduction. He's been a fixture in the hard rock and heavy metal scene for better than 30 years: from Yngwie to Journey to Talisman, from W.E.T. to TSO to his own solo work. Soto returns with a a new solo album, his sixth, Retribution, returning to the Frontiers Music label.

Jeff Scott Soto Photo

Jeff Scott Soto

Soto has something of an identifiable voice. Easily swinging between genres such as hard rock to heavy metal, Soto timbre can also ring with blues, soul, and vibrant passion. All these things are heard within this album, a recording with a variety of musical textures.

At the start, with the title cut, Inside Outside, and Rage Of The Year you get some edgier hard rock songs with a metal vibe. The riffs are bold; the rhythm section thundering. Within these songs, Soto's voice seems overwhelmed by the heaviness of the music. Essentially, you have to let your ears adjust to the mix and, by the time you get to Last Time and Bullet For My Baby, both metal rockers, Soto's voice rises better. Yet, Soto becomes more prominent within Reign Again and Dedicate To You, where both songs turn more on straight melodic hard rock wrapped in AOR accessibility. Even better for Soto are the ballads, Feels Like Forever, Song For Joey, and Autumn where his passion and clarity lead the songs. This is especially true for the closing song Autumn, which features Soto's voice with a light acoustic guitar.

All in all, the strength of Retribution turns upon the ability of Jeff Scott Soto to adapt his considerable vocal talent to the music at hand. As usual he does it with skill, passion, and consistency. While not one of my favorite rock vocalists, I would not expect anything less from Jeff Scott Soto. Nevertheless, if you dig his style, get this album. You won't be disappointed.



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The Bottom Line

All in all, the strength of Retribution turns upon the ability of Jeff Scott Soto to adapt his considerable vocal talent to the music at hand. As usual he does it with skill, passion, and consistency.

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